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Reporting to Your Healthcare Team


Thursday February 26 2015 11:03 AM

Something I haven’t thought about in a while is the importance of accurate reporting to my healthcare team. I'm not saying that I tell blatant lies or misleading information but I often find that when trying to remember six or eight months of information, I get it all mixed up. The average clinic visit is about 12 minutes- that is a short amount of time to fit in all the information you need to share with the team! How long do your clinic visits usually last? How long do you wait between clinic visits?

When I think back on issues, I tend to forget the severity of it at the time. Let's say, I rate something a six out of 10 today, I could remember it in a few months time as a three out of 10. Time clouds the memory and it leads to inaccurate reporting.  I used to keep a notebook where (I kind of) kept track of my symptoms and side effects. The problem with that for me was… I could never find the notebook! Do any of you do anything similar? I know it might seem like the issue of accurate reporting isn't overly significant, but the more information the team have, then the better the decision they can make. Accurate reporting leads to better outcomes.

I have been using an app called SymTrac to keep notes of my symptoms. Somehow, I find my phone a lot easier than a notebook! It's a key tool for me now, so I find it really useful and simple. Instead of having to remember everything, I let SymTrac do it for me. Do you use anything similar?

Slightly off point here, but is anyone else concerned with the idea of passing all your information to the Neurologist in 12 minutes and having to make decisions in such a short space of time? In my ideal little mind I would like to submit all this information in advance of the visit so...

1) The 12 minutes could be used more effectively  

2) A little more thought (or time at least) goes into the decisions.

Maybe I'm completely off the mark, but it could take me 12 minutes to decide between Chinese or Indian takeaway, so the idea of making decisions regarding my health in that narrow timeframe just doesn't sit well with me.

Thanks for reading. 


Author: Aoife Kirwan

Tags: neurology, healthcare, team, ms, symtrac



Thursday February 26 2015 11:44

Spot on Aoife! I rarely remember my bad days and when I go to the doctor I can't tell the actual facts. I really feel that my healthcare has suffered because I didn't give the doctor the full story. I must start writing things down

Joan Jordan

Thursday February 26 2015 15:53

I hear you Aoife. Accurate reporting leads to better outcomes! Thanks for raising this vital issue.


Thursday March 05 2015 12:04

Great post, Aoife. I still stick to writing everything down but I also love SymTrac. It's perfect for keeping up to date when you're on the go.


Friday March 06 2015 00:21

Here we don't have regular visits.


Friday March 06 2015 00:23

Well said.


Saturday March 07 2015 11:59

I'm sick of seeing my neuro's at this stage (something tells me its a good complaint to have though and others would eat my arm off for my regular visits!) ah the joys of tysabri means 3x year minimum neuro assess and I totally agree with you re: them sitting there with their pen writing down what you say, I swear I just want to rip it off them and look, how the hell have you managed to summarise my twelve minutes of talking into 15 words!

I know what my ms is and where it came from and Im sick of teaching them about it.


Tuesday March 10 2015 00:35

By the time I have been driven an hour and a half to Galway, and then waited two hours to see the neurologist, I have not only forgotten what I wanted to say, but who I am there to see, as I also attend rheumatoligy, endocrinology, ophthalmic and psychiatric appointments. Why don't they just look at the database and tell me when I last had an MRI.

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